Girl kidnapped, suspect on loose after shooting, fire in NC


CATAWBA COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) – Police in Catawba County are asking for the public’s help finding a kidnapped girl and a man they say is responsible for a shooting and house fire at two separate scenes in a neighborhood near Newton.

The suspect, Derek Moser, is believed to have kidnapped Alexa Marie Cruz. Officials say they are driving in a 2006 white Buick Rendezvous with NC tag EKX-1904. Moser is facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, second-degree kidnapping, and larceny of a motor vehicle.

The two scenes are just a couple of blocks apart by road — closer through a wooded area — on Pine Bark Court and Fairway Drive near Hwy 10 and the town of Newton. Investigators have not released many details about exactly what happened but confirmed that one person was wounded in the neck and that no one was taken into custody as of 3:45 p.m. Friday.

Residents were urged to stay indoors after the shooting and house fire were reported. Officials originally thought Moser left the scene on foot, leading to road closures as they searched, but investigators determined he left in the Buick Rendezvous.

Moser is considered armed and dangerous.

The victim in the shooting went to two houses on Fairway Drive to seek help. Officials say one house caught on fire, but are not sure how.

Authorities are interviewing people and still putting pieces together.

Anyone who sees Moser or Cruz or has information on their whereabouts is urged to immediately call 911 or the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office at 828-464-5241. Officials urge the public not to approach Moser.

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